Pakistan Embraces Digital Future: 39 e-Rozgaar Centers Open in Islamabad

Caretaker Prime Minister inaugurated 39 cutting-edge e-Rozgaar centers in Islamabad, marking a significant stride towards empowering the Pakistani workforce in the digital age.

Caretaker Prime Minister inaugurated 39 cutting-edge e-Rozgaar centers in Islamabad, marking a significant stride towards empowering the Pakistani workforce in the digital age. This move is part of a visionary project led by the IT Minister, aiming to establish an impressive network of 10,000 e-Rozgaar centers across the country.

During the launch ceremony, IT Minister outlined the ambitious scope of the project, emphasizing the pivotal role of information technology in its realization. He announced the allocation of Rs. 1.0 billion for the establishment of e-Rozgaar centers through public-private partnerships, facilitating interest-free loans to qualified individuals and companies. The ultimate goal is to bridge the digital divide by providing essential facilities such as internet access, laptops, and suitable workspaces to over 1.5 million freelancers across Pakistan.

Highlighting the immediate challenges faced by freelancers, including the lack of necessary resources, IT Minister unveiled plans to accommodate one million freelancers in these centers. Each center has the capacity to host up to 100 individuals, potentially catalyzing a substantial boost in annual IT exports, estimated to reach $10 billion.

Work on nearly 40 e-Rozgaar centers is already underway, with expectations that all these centers will be operationalized by the ambitious deadline of 19th February 2024. IT Minister commended the performance of the IT Ministry during the past four months of the caretaker government, acknowledging the Special Investment Facilitation Council for expediting policy approvals and projects, allowing IT companies to retain 50 percent of their earnings in foreign currency.

In a groundbreaking announcement, IT Minister revealed a significant breakthrough in the digital payment gateway for freelancers. A pilot project, set to commence on February 1, 2024, aims to create 10,000 accounts facilitating freelancers to receive funds through globally recognized platform PayPal. The success of this initiative could pave the way for expanded third-party agreements for fund collection on a larger scale.

Addressing the critical aspect of technology infrastructure, IT Minister assured the availability of the 5G spectrum by eliminating obstacles, with a scheduled spectrum auction slated for August 2024. Additionally, plans were unveiled to lay an extensive 200,000 kilometers of optical fiber cable across the country, reinforcing Pakistan’s digital backbone.

The minister highlighted key achievements, including the implementation of the right-of-way policy and the resolution of conflicts between institutions. The establishment of the Telecommunication Tribunal, a longstanding demand from the telecom sector, was announced as a significant milestone at the ceremony.

Recapping other notable initiatives, IT Minister mentioned the launch of the Pakistan Startup Fund with an initial investment of Rs. 2 billion, the “Smartphones for All” initiative offering mobile phones in easy installments, and the establishment of a research and development fund supporting mobile phone manufacturing companies.

As Pakistan propels itself into the digital future, these initiatives spearheaded by the caretaker government underscore the commitment to fostering innovation, providing employment opportunities, and positioning the nation as a formidable player in the global digital landscape.